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The Jew of New York

Katchor, Ben

243 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375401040 / ISBN 13: 9780375401046
Published by Pantheon Books, New York, 1998
Hardcover
From Warwick Books, member IOBA (South Pasadena, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Hardcover, no dustjacket as issued. 8vo. First edition. Cardboard covers with imprinted picture of two figures, with title filled in with maroon and black. Paper slip on rear board, with book and author information; price is cut from corner. Beautifully packaged book, with illustrations throughout by the author. 97 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 14530

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Jew of New York

Publisher: Pantheon Books, New York

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

In 1825, Mordecai Noah, a New York politician and amateur playwright possessed of a utopian vision, summoned all the lost tribes of Israel to an island near Buffalo in the hope of establishing a Jewish state. His failed plan, a mere footnote in Jewish-American history, is the starting point for Ben Katchor's brilliantly imagined epic that unfolds on the streets of New York a few years later.

A disgraced kosher slaughterer, an importer of religious articles and women's hosiery, a pilgrim peddling soil from the Holy Land, a latter-day Kabbalist, a man with plans to carbonate Lake Erie--these are just some of the characters who move through Katchor's universe, their lives interwoven in a common struggle to settle into the New World even as it erupts into a financial frenzy that could as easily leave them bankrupt as carry them into the future.

Review:

Whether chronicling the metropolitan peregrinations of Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, or weaving together history and fantasy in 19th- century New York, Ben Katchor's comics, filled with scratchy figures moving through gray-washed streets, feel like the relics of a half- forgotten dream. The Jew of New York takes an obscure historical footnote--an attempt in 1825 to establish a Jewish homeland in upstate New York--and spins it into an intricate tale of a rapidly developing city and its diverse inhabitants, from one-legged actresses, to wandering Jews, to masked anti-Semites. The plot wanders from place to place, never predictable, but always fascinating. The result is a like a story by Paul Auster, rewritten by Charles Dickens, as Katchor gradually draws the reader into his bizarre but precisely imagined world. Weird conspiracies, religious fanaticism, and a plan to carbonate Lake Erie are just three of the threads which Katchor weaves together, creating a version of 1830's New York that captures the spirit of the times in a way that history cannot. The reader is never quite sure what is true, yet this powerfully imagined work is irresistibly compelling. Katchor's disturbing, deeply layered historical palimpsest transforms his collection of misfit characters and the city that they inhabit into something rich and strange.

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Warwick Books, is an Internet-only bookseller that specializes in hard-to-find books for avid readers and collectors. Many of our books are out of print. Specialties include literature, signed firsts, art and photography, design, illustrated books, cookbooks, field guides, children's books, needlecraft books, and Americana. We recently acquired a large private collection of books on military history. The focus is on World War II as well as aviation history. Warwick Books is a member of IOBA, the Independent Online Booksellers Association.

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We accept personal checks, money orders, Paypal, and credit card payments through ABE's secure ABE Commerce arrangement. California residents add 9.5 percent sales tax. Please e-mail or phone to confirm availability of books before sending payment. We can be reached at Warwick Books, 101 Warwick Place, South Pasadena, CA, att: Suzanne Mantell. Phone 323-683-3294; e-mail warwickbooks@socal.rr.com. All items are guaranteed as described. We ship all books well protected in bubble wrap and boxes. Bo...

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